Mera Naam Joker

Mera Naam Joker is certainly one of the most insightful, heart-warming commercial films made in India. This film shows Raj Kapoor’s orientation towards world classics. The cinematography is Tarkovskyish, Raj Kapoor’s performance draws heavily from Charlin Chaplin, while the ending reminds of Fellini’s Otto e Mezzo. This is possibly the greatest semi auto-biographical film- portrays major part of a person’s life. It is the Indian Citizen Kane!

Where it stands different from Citizen Kane or Otto e mezzo is its inherent optimism, and its commercial value. Raj Kapoor is not hesitant to show small dances and partial melodrama, and the message is loud and clear- ‘Life goes on’! The last story (meena) seems out of place initially in this long film, but starts making sense when it depicts Raju’s loneliness correctly.

The scene that steals the show is where Raju’s mother dies and yet Raju enters the ring dressed as a clown yelling for his mother, squirts water from his eyes, and starts playing his violin- a wonderful depiction of his showman spirit. This film has everything in place, and I can’t help but call it- my favourite Raj Kapoor classic!

I give it 9/10. Enter your vote below-


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